Friday, March 16, 2012

Write On Edge: Anti-hero

Prompt:   An anti-hero is a character who stands in opposition to the protagonist, who provides a foil and an obstacle on the hero or heroine’s narrative journey. The way I see it (and I know not everyone will agree), all villains are anti-heroes, but all anti-heroes are not villains.  Show me an anti-hero. It can be a character sketch or a scene, but try to establish how and why this person is the obstacle to the protagonist’s goals. I've written about Zenna before; now here's a little more about Boone.

Boone had been killing the enemies of the Dragons, and others, for hundreds of years.  He had flown joyfully into battle, gleefully ripping off heads with his talons and setting archers on fire with his breath.  He had retained human form to be in the heart of whatever war men fought, wielding his axe and sword as a farmer wields a scythe.  He had bathed in the blood of his foes, and it had felt good.    Fighting, and killing, had also made him incomparably wealthy.  Boone was a warrior, he lived to fight and kill, but if he could be paid to fight or kill, well!

He scanned the darkness of the bar, looking for his contact.  As Boone watched, a group of women on their way to the restroom fell silent as they hurried past a well-dressed man sitting alone at a table for four.   Boone moved in that direction.  The man looked up, glaring, until he saw who was in front of him. 

"You're the man with the problem?"  Boone directed his voice so that it carried through the din of the bar.  The man in front of him reeked of expensive cologne.  Underneath that ran a faint scent of rotting flesh.  The man nodded and motioned to the seat opposite him.  Reluctantly, Boone sat down.

"Yes, I have a problem that I need taken care of immediately, if not sooner,"  Adjusting his tie and leaning close, the older man pushed a manilla envelope across the table toward Boone, who took the envelope and put it into an inside coat pocket. 

"She is my son's fiance," the man continued. "I don't want the wedding to take place."

"I don't care about trivialities," Boone responded, cutting his client off.  It wasn't that he didn't want to hear details; the man's breath was vile.  Like old animal blood left out in the sun after a sacrifice, he thought. 

"As you like," his client waved a hand imperiously.   "Half of your commission has been deposited into the account as specified.  You'll get the other half after the job is done."

Boone could hardly wait to get away from the foul man in front of him.  He nodded, but it took enormous will to casually rise and stroll out of the bar.  He waited until he got into his car before pulling the envelope out and opening it.  

A pair of smiling green eyes gazed out of the photograph; the attractive woman had been captured in a happy moment.  Her eyes held his attention for a moment. Boone flipped the picture over to read the name:  Zenna Clayton.  

Throwing the picture on the seat next to him, Boone started his car and headed home.


  1. This is interesting. And I went back and read some of the rest. I catch up more later.

    I like this story line. I'm not sure where I stand on Boone, but the client definitely put me on edge right away.

    As far as concrit I have very little, but I do think this line could be made better; "Yes, I have a problem that I need taken care of immediately, if not sooner,". It seems a bit cliche to me.

    Otherwise, when's the next installment?

  2. A hero with dark intent, in it for the money, the bloodlust, but the real villain here is the foul-breathed client. Great use of the prompt!

  3. Really, really liked this. I'm going to follow you so I can go back and read more of these two characters....


I welcome comments, but reserve the right to correct your spelling because I am OCD about it!